Even though the Boo Radleys all went home some years ago and the name Brave Captain seems to be retired permanently, that doesn’t mean that Britpop stalwart Martin Carr hasn’t slowed down. Hot off the heels of his first proper “solo” album, Ye Gods and Little Fishes, Carr still regularly writes and records songs relegated to being online MP3s only. He’s no stranger to digital distribution—under his Brave Captain moniker, he released the entire album Distractions for free.
“Parliament of Owls” is his latest foray, seven minutes of psychedelics that doesn’t get too tie-dyed on you.
As we are flooded with images of the recent Gulf oil disaster, there are some who worry about the future of our planet and its wildlife, while others are concerned with who is to blame in this epic botch job.
Before anyone arrives to these concerns, however, they are reminded of one thing and one thing only—“Pipe Dreams”, the Saved By the Bell episode where Bayside strikes oil. When witnessing the sea of nameless crude-covered ducks we are reminded of Becky, Zack’s close friend and confidant (and duck) who met her untimely demise in the wake of the gang’s capitalistic interests. The episode was generically prescient and made The Onion AV Club‘s list of “amusingly misguided eco-friendly entertainments.” Anyways, someone made this great mash up of the ironically enjoyable episode with the slightly more renowned There Will Be Blood, and it’s awesome.
Radiohead’s track ‘Videotapes’ off In Rainbows is a bittersweet love song. It begins with the reflection that the memory of a perfect day will be playing at ‘the pearly gates’, only to be broken by the thought that Mephistopheles will be along to drag the singer down to Hell. The rest of the song repeats that image of perfection spoiled in various ways, a perfect day reduced to footage is just a series of colors (red, blue, green) or losing control of the images as they get plastered onto tape. Yet the necessity of the videotape is still there, “I can’t do it face to face”. The song ends on the note that only seeing the memory of the perfect day will have to be enough.
Finding an image to accompany that is obviously a bit tricky but it came from, of all places, Don Hertzfeldt’s hilarious Rejected Cartoons. The sequence comes up at about 8:16. It’s the scene where Hertzfeldt is destroying his work out of creative frustration and all the characters are trying to escape. The work itself is falling apart because, “Perhaps it was the animator’s creative stagnation in the commercial world, or a deeper loss of individuality therein…the rejected cartoons grew unstable.” While Hertzfeldt is throwing in a dry ‘Fuck You’ to the audience as well as all the commercial cartoon industry by killing all of his strange characters, ultimately it’s still about being frustrated with a medium. In this case these images and characters cannot get out of the cartoon that the creator is destroying because they keep getting rejected. The intensity of seeing those tiny stick figures beating so hard on the screen that they are actually bending the paper compliments the memory in ‘Videotape’ nicely: they are both desperately trying to get out.
This version of the song is from a concert in Boston on June 4th, 2006.
It happens once every four years, then goes away for another four, at least Stateside—World Cup fever. If you lack the attention span to watch a solid commercial-free 90 minutes for maybe a 1-Nil result and don’t want to relearn all the names, rules, and strategies you tried to pick up the last time around, this Lego-ized montage of last weekend’s US/England matchup is for you. Gotta love the way the video immortalizes English goalkeeper Robert Green’s epic case of butterfingers in Lego! More hard-core soccer—um, football—geeks might appreciate that there’s a whole website, Legofussball.eu, devoted to Lego reproductions of German league matches, in addition to a whole slate of World Cup 2010 games coming up. Just wondering when they’ll add the Lego vuvuzelas.
Chances are, at some point in the last couple of years, you have seen animated rabbits re-enact at least one famous movie in thirty seconds. This is because of Jennifer Shiman. In 2004, the independent animator’s website, angryalien.com, already had novel, interactive Flash-animated shorts such as Pigeon Kam, which showed the world through the eyes of a pigeon, and Amy’s Diary, a re-telling of a child’s diary. It was just a tiny blip on the internet’s radar until she debuted a new feature, The Exorcist, as re-enacted by bunnies in 30 seconds. Slowly but surely, the success of this short, and its hilarious follow-ups of Jaws, The Shining, and most notably, Titanic, led to international attention. Spotlighted on CNN and the Today show, the “buns”, as Shiman lovingly refers to them, garnered praise and requests from internet visitors from all over the world.
This led to a deal with Starz, who got exclusive first access to newer send-ups of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sixteen Candles, No Country for Old Men, March of the Penguins, and others, which they aired on their website and during airings of the original movies on their cable network. In 2005, the Titanic short was included as a bonus feature of the 1997 movie’s four-disc DVD re-release. As her website won Webby awards for Online Animation and the people’s choice, Shiman denied rumors that the buns would move on to their own TV series or movie, saying that she hardly had the time. Still, the bunnies became quite an internet presence, with annual animated holiday “cards” featured on the website and official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Now after six years and 68 re-enactments, Shiman announced that the upcoming Evil Dead II short would be the bunnies last, but “Never say never; we may be back some day with our interpretation of more movies.” Stating that her partnership with Starz had ended, she left no reasons as to why, but revealed that she would continue work on other projects. Though this could start rumors about an upcoming TV special or series, all bunnies fans can do for now is see most of their work on the “30-Second Bunnies Theatre Collectible DVD”, available at Amazon.com.